DfE childrens serious case review training 2013 to 2014

On 4 September 2014
Professor Marian Brandon of the University of East Anglia and her colleagues published an Independent National Evaluation of the DfE training programme Improving the Quality of Serious Case Reviews. Sequeli played a key role in the DfE programme - in particular creating training materials. The Evaluation Report includes feedback that '96% of questionnaire respondents said the course materials were helpful' (page 9). Sequeli completed its work, in partnership with NSPCC and Action for Children over 15 months >> Click here to read more

First Annual Report of the Expert Panel

On 31 July 2014, the On 31 July 2014, the panel's First Annual Report was published.

In a Commentary on the Annual Report Sequeli Director Gillian Downham welcomes the panel's proposal for a review of SCRs and considers how the effectiveness of the Department for Education's training for SCR reviewers and LSCB Chairs could be ascertained.

And what do you think of the Annual Report? You can respond to Gillian's blog on this topic on Kings College London website. Professor Jill Manthorpe and James Blewett of Kings College London are Sequeli Associates and were part of the DfE training programme >> Click here to read more

Serious case reviews criticised

A number of recent children's serious case reviews have been criticised. The criticisms have been in part been concerned with the failures of services which the reports have uncovered. Report writers and reviewers have sometimes themselves been criticised for not getting to the heart of the service failures during the serious case review. Absence of action to improve services has been an additional cause for complaint and frustration.

Are there lessons which serious case reviewers and commissioners themselves need to learn? Is it a question of reviewer heal thyself? Sequeli suggests a few things which might be taken into account in the future, particularly in the absence of a procedure for serious case reviews in 2013 Working Together >> Click here to read more

Clwyd report finally published

Child Abuse: An independent investigation commissioned by Clwyd County Council, Period 1974-1995 Part 1
and Part 2 have been published after 17 years. Chair, John Jillings, comments on the process of conducting the investigation, which was in fact an 'internal investigation by an independent panel'. Findings include:

  • 'Many of the professionals interviewed by the Independent Panel expressed the view that Clwyd Social Services Department is very good at reviewing itself, but has failed consistently to learn from its mistakes, and been unable to implement a full range of appropriate safeguards.'
  • 'Reviews and inquiries have come to be seen as ends in themselves, rather than as part of the process for identifying necessary changes. >> Click here to read more
Working Together 2013

21 March 2013
- The Department for Education publishes the new Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Broadly, the new guidance confirms the consultation document (see below). The relevant section is Chapter 4: Learning and Improvement Framework.
>> Click here to read more about Working Together 2013 and its background

Some studies and research

Families contribute to SCR learning

A study published in November 2012 Morris, K; Brandon, M; Tudor, P; A study of family involvement in case reviews: Messages for policy and practice, BASPCAN (British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) Executive Summary states at page 10 'The findings from this study suggest that family involvement has the potential to make an important contribution to the learning from reviews of the most serious cases of child death or serious injury arising from abuse or neglect' >> Click here to read more

LSCBs should rely less on recommendations

On 30 September 2011 A study of recommendations arising from serious case reviews 2009-2010, Marian Brandon Peter Sidebotham Sue Bailey Pippa Belderson University of East Anglia University of Warwick, Department for Education, September 2011was published.

This analysis of 33 serious case reviews examines the SMART framework for recommendations (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) which comes from Working Together and is intended to ensure lessons are learned locally, with few recommendations focussing on a small number of key area >> Click here to read more

Ofsted looks at LSCB good practice

On 16 September 2011 Ofsted published Good practice by Local Safeguarding Children Boards which states 'The purpose of this report is to help Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) to reflect on their practice, plan for improvements and learn from the experience of other boards' (page 1)' >> Click here to read more

Ofsted's thematic report

The voice of the child: learning lessons from serious case reviews; A thematic report of Ofsted's evaluation of serious case reviews from 1 April to 30 September 2010, Ofsted, April 2011 is an examination of themes arising from serious case reviews. It is still important reading as it is a reminder (if it were needed) that certain service weeaknesses remain unaddressed >> Click here to read more

Comments on the DfE course for reviewers:

"Very useful course"

"I enjoyed it very much and it gave me much food for thought"

"A good two day event - thank you

"Very useful, and good reference material"

"Good to have DfE present".














































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